What Are the Benefits of Walking in 10 Minute Increments?

Happy young woman jogging
A woman outside walking. (Image: Milenko Bokan/iStock/Getty Images)

A brisk, 10 minute walk burns off a 50 calorie chocolate chip cookie. Walking for 10 minute increments gives you a practical way to fit healthy activity into your life. The heavier you are, the more calories you burn in 10 minutes, due to the energy it takes to move your own weight. At a rate of 15 minutes per mile, a 185-pound person burns 67 calories walking for 10 minutes and a 125-pound person burns 45 calories.

Physical Activity

Walking in 10 minute increments helps you increase your amount of daily and weekly physical activity. Walking helps to maintain your functional abilities to perform the basic tasks of life, for the present, and as you age. Engaging in a minimum of 30 minutes of walking each day reduces your risk of obesity, diabetes and breast cancer. Walking regularly also reduces abdominal fat, improves your cholesterol profile, gives you more energy, reduces your blood pressure and lowers your risk of early death.

Fitness

Walking in 10 minute increments -- especially walking briskly on a regular basis -- improves your fitness. As you continue your walking program, your lung capacity increases, your resting heart rate may decrease and your muscles becoming stronger. Walking counts as a weight-bearing exercise because you're moving your own weight when you walk. Taking regular walks for 10 minutes helps to maintain bone density, which decreases your risk of fractures. This is a particularly valuable benefit for older women, due to their higher risk of osteoporosis.

Getting Started

Making a habit of taking 10 minute walks works well for people who have been inactive or who aren't strong enough for prolonged or strenuous exercise. Walking in 10 minute increments gets you started with physical activity if you tend to put off exercise because you think you don't have time for it. Taking a 10 minute walk when you go out to get the paper, again at lunch and a third time after dinner gives you your 30 minute minimum daily requirement of exercise.

Metabolism

Multiple exercise sessions help to increase your metabolism for weight loss or weight control. Each time you take a walk, your body burns more calories to fuel your physical effort than it would burn if you remained at rest. Walking vigorously burns even more calories. Power walking for 10 minutes or using Nordic ski poles increases the number of calories you burn. Lifting your knees higher and pumping your arms increases the rate of calorie burning -- and if you repeat the 10 minute increments throughout the day, you'll increase your metabolism.

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